Saturday was supposed to be the first race meeting at Seoul to take place with fans in attendance since last November, but it was not to be. And while the vaccination program has made rapid progress, as case numbers continue to rise in the Seoul and Gyeonggi area (337 new cases in the capital on Friday), it seems questionable that permission will be granted any time soon. For more background on the abrupt but not unexpected about-turn made by the local authorities see here. There are 9 races at Seoul on Saturday from 11:30 to 18:00. Here are the previews:
Seoul Race 1: Class 6 (1200M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
Fillies kick us off and (4) CHOEGANG QUEEN looks ready to win at what will be start number three for her. She has a 3rd and a 2nd from her two starts so far, both times racing handy and running on in creditable times. She drew wide on both occasions but gets a much better gate today and can make her breakthrough here. (2) LEAD VOCAL is the only runner in the field to already have a victory to her name. That came two starts back in fine fashion when she made all over 1400M in an impressive time on a wet track. She was 5th on her reappearance in early May but won a trial in good order a couple of weeks ago and should be the main danger here. (7) SOBERANIA did nothing much wrong when 4th on debut back in May and can build on that today while (1) FLYING FULL MOON and (8) MODERN BEST are others who have placing chances among this small field.
|Selections||(4) Choegang Queen (2) Lead Vocal (7) Soberania (1) Flying Full Moon|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 4, 7|
Seoul Race 2: Class 6 (1000M) Allowance / KRW 45 Million
The first event of the season for previously unraced two-year-olds race of the season brings with it boosted prize money and no form, so we have to head to the trial videos. Accordingly, (7) YUKWAEHAN NALDEUL is set to jump as favourite having made all to win his qualification trial in early May before doing similar in another voluntary trial, although this time sitting handy, at the end of that month. If he brings that form to the races, he’ll be hard to beat first up. (8) BYEOLI SUNGAN only finished 6th in his heat but the time was a fast one as the trial field that day included some class 1 and class 2 horses and he acquitted himself well. Moon Se Young rode him in the heat and partners him first-up here so he is bound to get plenty of backing. (9) YESULIYA beat a couple of his fellow debut-makers here when running 2nd in his May 21st trial. He led until the final furlong and posted a good time on a wet track. With just nine runners, the wide draw shouldn’t be too problematic. (5) BENCAL PRINCESS made all to win her heat and while the time wasn’t fast, she was a long way clear of the rest of the field and should be able to go well. (3) ROAD ACE didn’t catch the eye in his qualification trial but improved in a voluntary trial two weeks ago when he looked more assured and if he can improve again on that, can be in the finish.
|Selections||(7) Yukwaehan Naldeul (8) Byeoli Sungan (9) Yesuliya (3) Road Ace|
|Next Best||5, 4|
|Fast Start||1, 5, 7, 9|
Seoul Race 3: Class 6 (1300M) Allowance / KRW 22 Million
Back to the class 6 fillies here and it is hard to look past (3) AQUA PUNCH. She finished well back on debut but stepped up to score at start number two over 1300M on June 6th. She sat handy that day striking the front in the final furlong and going on well and from a similar draw in what looks a significantly easier assignment, she’ll be hard to beat. (4) ADVANCE has a 3rd place to her name and while that was over 1000M, she comes in under a nice light weight under the same apprentice who rode her that day. She draws well and if she can get a close position early, she can be in the finish. So too can (2) BORI BORI who ran on well from midfield last time for a good, if well-beaten, 4th place. That was her best to date and she can build on it here. (7) CHOENTAP too gets a bit of a weight allowance and may improve in weak company.
|Selections||(3) Aqua Punch (4) Advance (2) Bori Bori (7) Choentap|
|Next Best||1, 6|
|Fast Start||3, 4, 5, 6|
Seoul Race 4: Class 6 (1400M) Allowance / KRW 33 Million
Three-year-old maidens go around here. (2) IMUGI is set to be the warm favourite having made steady progress across four starts so far including back to back 4th place finishes in his most recent outings at 1200M and 1400M. He steps up to seven furlongs for the first time and from a good draw he can sit handy and then run on and be too strong in the finish. (9) RUN RUN RUN ran out of track at his latest start but when he got well back before running on strong for 6th place. Choi Bum-hyun remains aboard and his first go at an extended trip may be in his favour. The same can be said for (6) WONDERFUL DEVIL, who has settled towards the back of the field at each of her three starts so far before finishing well and similarly looks like she may appreciate a bit of distance. (5) MAGIC JOY and (7) GRAND STAR are others in the hunt for places.
|Selections||(2) Imugi (9) Run Run Run (6) Wonderful Devil (5) Magic Joy|
|Next Best||7, 1|
|Fast Start||1, 2, 8, 9|